If you were thinking of venturing out to pick up a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 this weekend, you may be disappointed if you're living in the United States. A U.S. judge has granted Apple's request to stop Samsung from selling the slate after ruling that the Korean electronics giant has no right to flood the market with "infringing products."
Apple has long been battling to have a number of Samsung's Galaxy devices banned because it feels that they copy the design of its hugely popular iPhone and iPad. It has already succeeded with another two injunctions against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia and in Europe, but now it is bringing the battle to the U.S.
And unfortunately for Samsung, U.S. judge Lucy Koh has sided with Apple, as All Things D reports:
"Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products," Koh wrote in her order, adding that the strength of Apple's case on the merits left her no choice but to grant the injunction. "While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung's infringing products outweighs Samsung's harm in light of the previous findings by the Court."
The order will become effective as soon as Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect against damages suffered by Samsung in the event that the injunction is later determined to have been wrong.
FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller reports that it took Samsung just five hours to appeal against the decision.
However, from Apple's point of view, Samsung's "blatant copying" needs to be stopped. A spokeswoman for the Cupertino company told All Things D:
"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."
Whether or not you're on Apple's side, there's no denying that Samsung's devices have — in many ways — been remarkably similar to Apple's in recent years. Not only does the Galaxy Tab 10.1 look identical to the iPad from the front, but its packaging is also almost exactly the same.
Of course, the preliminary injunction doesn't necessarily mean that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be banned in the U.S. on a permanent basis. After injunctions in both Australia and in Europe, the device later went on sale and continues to be available today. It's certainly a huge blow for Samsung, however.
[via All Things D]